In 2019 Gaëlle and her Bombtrack headed out for a staggering loop around Europe, covering all it’s countries within. From the heat of southern Spain to the frozen coast of Scandinavia, while traversing the Carpathians somewhere in the middle – home to brown bears and wolves…
May 9, 2020:
“Also, if you’re interested, riding from Mammoth to Tahoe and back in June…”
This non sequitur caught me off guard. It was also exactly what I’ve wanted to hear for a while. I have long admired the big days my buddy Connor puts in the mountains. Slipped in the middle of casual conversation (mostly about bikes) between two friends, was the invitation to join in on one of his epic adventures. An invitation to partake in the fun, madness, joy, suffering, and glory.
In 2019 Jonny Moses biked the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The GDMBR is a 2700 mile off-road bike tour that follows the continental divide along the spine of the Rockies from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells New Mexico. He rode this route in order to both challenge himself and to challenge the narrative of who does or doesn’t belong in the outdoors. His aim is to encourage kids of color that the outdoors and outdoor recreation IS for them.
Colt Fetters takes us through his gear list for bikepacking trips in the desert. As you can imagine, the desert is one of the harshest environments to tour through, so check out Colt’s recommendations here.
I’m not at all accustomed to talking about my love for backcountry mountain biking within the confines of a stale hotel ballroom. In a past lifetime as a geologist, I gave plenty of ballroom presentations about glacial erosion, cosmogenic radionuclides, and Arctic climate change – it’s easy to get academics to connect to your words in such a bland setting. But how do a couple of mountain bikers get an audience of equestrians to connect with a shared passion for the backcountry from within the confines of a suburban cube?
When I went on my first bike tour in the summer of 2009 from Seattle back to California I had a decision to make, take my camera or take a tent. I grabbed my old Hasselblad 501CM and hit the road. I had never gone on a long-distance tour before and I hadn’t much thought about any of it, I had a copy of Bicycling the Pacific Coast and some camping gear, I was gonna be fineeee. I had no plans for what to shoot along the ride, but when I got home I found that about 90% of the images I had shot were of the many people I encountered along the way. That was a moment of clarity for me and one that would define my photographic motivations for almost a decade afterward.
On a recent ride, I broke out my trusty Mini Sawyer filter, after storing it per the instructions and cleaning it the night before, to find that it just didn’t work all that well anymore. Granted this filter had probably only been used once or twice before. The stream from the filter was more of a trickle which struck me as odd as I haven’t filtered any silty streams. Granted, when you’re re-hydrating, you should be sipping water, not chugging it so it didn’t bother me at the time. Filling my bottles though, took forever.
It leads me to think there has to be a better filter for smaller, back-country rides where water is a concern. We have lots of streams, creeks, and tributaries here to drink from on big rides, which is nice but I’d love to find a better filtering option. We use an MSR pump filter for bike and backpacking trips but they take up a lot of space. Filters like the Scout Inline and MSR Thru-Link inline filters look appealing but what if you don’t ride with a bladder all the time? Steripen? Iodine? Surely you’ve got opinions, so we’d like to head what you use!
Karla and I were on route before Covid-19 had been detected in Mexico, but as we saw the situation develop we decided to pause our trip and go home. It feels weird to have our outdoor space reduced to a small backyard after being on the limitless open road, but we stay positive and hope you’re all safe and to see you on the road once all this passes. Stay strong and cheers!
We leave San Ignacio and after a chill ride we make it to Laguna de San Ignacio where we join a whale watching tour. On our previous segment we had seen whales spout from the coast, but seeing them dive under the tiny boat we were on was an amazing experience. Back on dry land we stop at the tiny store in town for a quick resupply, where the lady behind the counter is actively scrolling on her phone and she expresses her concern about “the new virus”. This area relies heavily on sea related activities and the main buyer is China, but because of Covid-19 all product shipping has been stopped, leaving people without part of the income they count on for the rest of the year. She’s also worried about being in a touristy spot, where most of the visitors are from abroad.
While we’re all locked down in our homes, a lot of us are biding our time planning tours and travels. One of the ways we can help you with that is by teaming up with the Adventure Cycling Association to offer you a free, 6-month trial.
The Radavist and Adventure Cycling are teaming up to offer you a free 6-month trial membership to Adventure Cycling Association. Become a member with Adventure Cycling Association today and unlock the keys to a wealth of resources and valuable tools that will ignite your dreams and plans for bicycle adventures of any kind — whether short overnight trips, weeklong tours, cross-country rides, or around-the-world journeys.
Perks of membership with Adventure Cycling include:
-A subscription to Adventure Cyclist – the only magazine dedicated to bicycle travel
-Discounts on Adventure Cycling maps as well as deals on hotel stays, gear, and apparel
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With over 50,000 members, Adventure Cycling is the nation’s largest bicycling association. We exist to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. Sign-up now!
*This 6-month free trial membership is valid only for new members and must be sent to a U.S. mailing address.
Sign up at Adventure Cycling
These are just four of the bags from Swift Industries’ 2020 collection, which come in these colors, plus black, across the whole lineup. Each of these bags have been refined over the years to be durable, withstand the elements, carry snacks, and ya know, things like that. All are in stock now at Swift Industries, who is still open for business!
Ralph Samson took off on the Sky Islands Odyssey with friends last January, documenting the trip for all of us to enjoy while we’re locked indoors. Thanks for sending this over, Ralph!
Last year, my partner Karla and I rode the northern half of the Baja Divide which soon, and as expected, became the hardest pedaling we had ever done, but also one of the most fulfilling experiences of our lives so when we went home we just kept on dreaming about going back for the second half of it.
From the shadow of mount Tam to the coastal plains of Santa Barbara exists a quilt of broken earth. An underlying structure of torn apart geology transported hundreds of miles from where it was originally emplaced. A Mediterranean climate of warm summers and cool wet winters that becomes progressively drier towards the equator. A diverse floral assemblage stemming from the eroded remains of rocks past and present harboring condors, salmon and mountain lions. From North America’s largest estuary reflecting pastel sunrise to the sandstone peaks of the east/west transverse ranges gleaming pink and orange as the sun sets over the pacific.
When it comes to ultralight bikepacking and cyclo-touring, redundancies in gear don’t cut it. Hydrolight’s new 2L reservoir is now available. It’s a clever solution for those looking for a substantial way to illuminate their campsite, without having to carry the extra weight of a lantern. Their innovative design allows you to plug in your favorite headlamp into their bladder to create campsite illumination, all for $35. Not bad if you ask me. Check out their video above, see more information at Hydrolight, and let us know what you think…
He thought there would be a limit and that would stop him. He depended on that.
“An Atlas of the Difficult World – VIII” – Adrienne Rich
Before I left:
A month before I left, a bus hit me on the sidewalk as I avoided² the dangers of an indifferent suburb riding to the job I did as pittance-paid worker on a bike industry profit trawler. The night before I left, I couldn’t get the tire off, sobbed, exhausted. Six days before I left, I stopped having fun at a race and decided to bail, tired, beer softened, slowed wrong, ate gravel, wrist sprained. Before I left I destroyed my shell in the wash. Before I left I shook nothing down. I wasn’t ready but it didn’t matter. I had to go. How would I keep on otherwise?
Some of us are hoping for limits. There are reasons for that.
Bontrager just announced the newest addition to their footwear catalog, marketed towards gravel riding and bicycle touring. The GR2 is an off-road specific shoe, with lace closure, a grippy sole and visual cues to the outdoor industry. This vibrant mustard-yellow with red laces and a speckled sole is quite the looker, or there’s a more muted all-black model. A Tachyon rubber outsole gives the shoes plenty of grip, while the Gnarguard upper reduces wear and tear from hike-a-bikes. The GR2 retails for $139.99 and is in stock now at Bontrager stores.
The first time I found myself in Puerto Rico was quite a few years back, it was on a sandy city street that ended at the beach in the Ocean Park neighborhood of San Juan. It was wintertime on the east coast where I flew in from, but I was now in a sunny island paradise.
The Kosciuszko Alpine Classic is just a name I came up with for a ride I did with my two good mates, Ben and James. We had organised a week off work in late October to go and spend some time in the Australian Alps. The route would see us riding primarily through the Kosciuszko National Park, taking in the wild brumby infested Long Plain, then going up and over the highest rideable trail in Australia, and also along some of the newest and flowiest single track built in the region. It was going to be classic!